Rating: 3.5 stars
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Augusto Catalan has never had much. Most of what he’s had is his love of dance, but that hasn’t gotten him very far. He’s tired of the rejection he finds around every corner. Working at a dance club, Augusto has just about convinced himself that it’s all he’ll ever be. And then his roommate talks him into one more audition. This time for Julliard. Unsure that the school known for such classical trained talent will take a hip-hop dancer known especially for krumping, Augusto goes for it anyway and is shocked beyond belief when he is chosen to take a freshman spot in the newest class.
Alexander Benton is the be all and end all of Julliard—at least he is until he graduates. Born into money and a family who is never around, Alexander is used to getting his way in all things. And he is certain that the cocky new freshman, Augusto, will need to be taken down a notch. When a teacher matches Alexander and Augusto up as tutor and student, Alexander sees it as is opportunity to show the freshman who is boss. What he doesn’t expect is the sudden attraction that sparks between them.
Augusto all but hates Alexander and what he stands for, but he can’t help the attraction that pulls him to the upperclassman. Alexander wants Augusto, but he’s not sure how to push aside the walls that have protected his heart up until now. As Augusto slowly chips away at that wall, he finds that Alexander isn’t such a bad guy underneath. But the closer the two become, the more they realize they have to work through. Friends with benefits, deceased lovers, horrible past lovers, trust issues, money issues, and so much more plague their budding relationship, threatening to tear them apart.
Let me start this off by saying, overall this story was sweet, maybe a little melodramatic and unbelievable at times, but still very sweet. I enjoyed the basis of this story—young love, boy meets boy, boys despise one another, boys inevitably fall in love, screw it up, make up, and live happily ever after. As a young love (not young adult) story Dance with Me is very good. It gives the feeling that nothing is impossible, that love conquers all, and that as perfect as love can seem at times, it’s not always so. I enjoyed that aspect of it.
I love a good opposites attract, and these boys are nothing if not polar opposites in every way. And the best thing about opposites attracting is the inevitable giving in and compromise that brings them together. So of the two Augusto is my favorite. But, really, I always enjoy exotic dancers. Augusto has been through a ton in his short life, enough to destroy is hope for love in his future. He’s a beautiful person on the inside, optimistic, fun, and caring. I adore his spirit. He’s such a beautiful person inside and out. I liked Alexander too—don’t get me wrong—but for different reasons. I like him for his journey of self-discovery. In the beginning he’s this very vapid asshole of a guy. He’s stuck up and thinks the world revolves around him. Then this kid dares to step in his school and turns his world upside down. I love his transformation from shallow to caring. And the authors do it in a way that is believable. Truly, Augusto and Alexander, singularly are the best part of this book.
Now, on to my not so hot moments. Like I hinted to earlier, some to the plot points and scenes are a bit overdramatic and far too unbelievable—something I would expect to read in a young adult story and not an adult m/m romance. Some things tip the point into cheesy and a bit awkward. And then other times everything seemed too easy for these guys. Yeah, they have lots of skeletons in their closets, but they were easily forgiven or forgotten in hopes of moving along with the relationship. Maybe I just wanted more drama, but I certainly didn’t get it.
This book could have used a good proofreader. I don’t usually bring the issue up if it’s not recognizable, but I lost count of the number of errors throughout this story. It got to a point where it was distracting and a bit frustrating. Errors happen, and they’re usually not a big deal until the interrupt my reading, then I see reason to point them out. So unfortunately, it is a problem with this book.
All in all, Dance for Me is not a bad story. It’s sweet, but had its issues, and simply didn’t work for me as I hoped it would. I can’t comment on how well the authors collaborated and whether that affects this story, as I don’t have enough experience with either author to make such an informed decision. But I will say, if you like sugary sweet romances with a little bit of dirty and maybe even a little melodrama, this may be the book for you.